Technolotics #18 – Brains’ Blind Date

Listen: Episode 18
Watch: Youtube
Feed: RSS


Lies Damn Lies and the Recording Industry

An article has been published in the New York times about the file sharing revolution
Sean Fanning has developed software called snocap, that subtitutes requested copyrighted content on P2P networks with low quality versions which include verbal adds for the full version. Ha Ha. Good luck with that one Sean.

Especially considering users can merely switch to a file sharing network with uncorrupted information

Check out the graph on th left hand side of the article – which compares records shipped – from 2001 – 2005, directly with 2003 – 2005 filesharing growth
Ignoring the fact that records shipped (not sold) is an easily manipulated figure the recording industry has used to disguse sales and manipulate the debate for years
Ignoring the fact that simultaneous filesharing use is VASTLY underestimated by this graph
You can’t compare across differnt periods of time like this
Check out the rightmost bar on the right hand bar chart – its for six months – implying that sales are steady throughout the year – clearly an unsubstantiated assumption – if you look across 2001 – 2005 (assuming that the half years figures relate) you don’t see a drop!
This ties in to a week of articles slate magazine ran recently on education [1]
Here’s a link to the excellent podcast on the subject [2]
As part of this week, slate organised a round table of leading academics to examine the future of American undergraduate education [3]

one of these academics points out the importance of an education in statistics [4] – which is more and more important in understanding the information we’re presented with

In other recording industry news – the EU seem determined to enact laws ensuring telecommunications / internet data retention for a year [5]

a chilling prospect to anyone concearned with privacy and individual liberty
especially in the light of new EU directives seeking to criminalise copyright infringement [6]
which could allow future sco like companies to threaten individual users of alledgedly infringing software with imprisonment – and gain access to the investigation into those accused as part of a ‘joint investigative team’
just to put this in perspective – imagine being accused, as an individual citizen, of the witting or unwitting download or ‘infringing use’ of copyrighted materials – and facing the threat of prison, while a mega corporating investigates you, in full co-operation with the police
employers, get ready for a potential 4 year imprisonment and the closure of your business if the proposed “European Parliament and Council directive on criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of IP rights” [7] is passed

Googleblogger: Google plan to own the web

Robert Cringely’s column this week covers the deployment by Google of huge amounts of automated data centers
This boxes will act both as a giant storage and local caching repository, and as a distributed processing grid – ideally for deep, rich web applications
Google will place these miniture super computing centres – each capable of storing 3.5 petabytes and containing 5,000 AMD 64bit Opteron processors – at the 300 internet peering points worldwide
Internet television, google approved media and peer to peer applications, will be greatly accellerated by the interconnection of these datacentres via google recent dark fibre purchases
Google office, google desktop, or any other complex add / subscription supported services, would sit locally and provide the thin client dream that Sun promiced and failed to deliver
Google can also use their complete control of the backend to provide secure transaction services – making them the cheapest and most trustworthy provider of eskrow services and online market places
A potententially unbeatable challenge to companies like Ebay, Yahoo, and even Microsoft
Who’s afraid of google – according to wired news, everyone [8]

Every online company is threatened
TV stations are threatened by the furture potential of
Craigslist like services could face death from
Telecommunications – google free wifi (pah), and gtalk with recently purchased location aware IM tech Meetro
M$ – Potential Google OS / Online office
Publishing industry –
Ecommerce industry – google wallet

Bush wanted to Bomb Al Jazera

Various UK papers have reported recieved warning under the offical secrets act, not to reveal the contents of a leaked memo [9]
The leaked memo is alleged to contain a transcript of talks between Tony Blair and George Bush, in April 2004 – and include a conversation in which Prime Minister Blair convinces President not to launch an attack against the independent Arab News Channel Al Jazeera
The white house have dismissed the allegations as ‘inconceivable’
In recent years the offices of Al Jazerra have been the target of a series of ‘accidental’ attacks from US troups

In 2001 the channels offices in Kabul in Afganistan were hit
In 2003 a journalist, Tariq Ayub died when the stations Bagdad office was hit during a rocket attack

The allegations came to light in the form of a front page story on the cover of Britains Mirror newspaper on Tuesday

Microsoft to Open Office Document Format

Microsoft have announced that they are to submit the various formats of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to the International Standards Organisation and potential ‘open standards’ [10]
Move comes in wake of Massachusetts proposing to requiring open docuement compliance on government documents to ensure backwards compatibility, also in reaction to pressures from the EU and governments world wide who want Microsoft to standardise their software
Namely the Open Document format support by IBM, Sun and other companies
Microsoft currently refuse to support open document – complaining of the difficulties already incountered including support for its older file formats in its new ‘open xml’ proprietary architecture

A difficulty which wouldn’t have emerged if Microsoft hadn’t continually introduced new incompatible versions to sell new editions of office repeatedly over the products history

Unlike a truely open standard, while an ISO standard can be examined by other companies – but can’t be used to build applications
Can a close document model survivel in the wake of Web 2.0 ?

Short Stories

Holographic Storage next year

Next gen non-volatile storage by 2006
Maxtor are launching 300 gig removable disks, with 20meg a second data transfer

Is that a gun in your hand, or just bad science

New scientist reports – the techniques used to verify a gun has been fired by a suspect are flawed to the point of complete unreliability


Crashbox 360

Initial reports of Xboxen crashing [12] were confirmed, when microsoft admitted a problem with the production process [13]
Up to 5% of boxes may be affected [14]
Not to worry however, as early reports indicate the problem can be repaired by increasing air flow to the power supply [15] – no word yet as to what to do if your house burns down

Media Pimp


Accelerating Change Podcast – [16]
Flowline – software modeling of fluid systems [17] this stuff will be real time in hardware in the next generation of physics accelleration – vid [18]
Erotic Star Trek Fan Fic – Spock and Kirk in Drag [19]


Hundread Worst Porn Titles of All Time – [20]


CNET Top 100 Blogs [21]

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